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Something that Christian Men Wish We Knew about Them

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This is a guest post from www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com (my other blog) this week for the SINGLE ladies.  It is a single Christian man’s response to a question I asked him after Tuesday’s post (Why Asking About His “Five Year Plan” Can Backfire).  I believe that the way we treat our men reflects the same level of respect that we give to Jesus.  When I was disrespectful and controlling with my husband, that is also how I treated God. (Of course, I didn’t realize I was being that way with either of them.)  And when a woman is respectful towards her husband and honors him – that is almost always a woman who also respects and honors Christ.

I asked him, “What can Christian single women do when they believe they are having to wait too long for the Christian man they are interested in to “move forward” in a romantic relationship?”  

His answer amazes me.  This may be a bit painful to hear – because it will force us to look into the mirror and we may be surprised about what we see there.  But his response has so much meat in it, that I want us all to hear what he has to say.  I’m an old married woman :), and I learned a LOT from his perspective that even applies in marriage.  Many of us made a lot of these exact mistakes when we were dating our husbands – and I believe we are sometimes suffering in our marriages today because of those mindsets that began early in our relationships.  I think this same mindset may also be how we sometimes approach God – and I believe it is time to take a look at our approach to our husbands and to Jesus. THANK YOU to this man for his willingness to share:

Every couple will have a different set of personalities and circumstances. I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all answer to this other than to listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice, and have a heart that desires to obey God and honor your brother in Christ before yourself.

If your priority and focus is on yourself and your dreams and expectations and everything YOU want in the relationship or engagement/marriage, you will show him that not only is he less important to you than your list of desires/dreams/expectations, but that you only see him as the means by which you achieve those desires/dreams/expectations, ie: a convenient object to use.

Do we say to Jesus, “Hurry-up and jump on that cross, because I want to taste Paradise?!”  No! This was his choice and gift to us! Paradise/Heaven are gifts and blessings we are lucky to receive, not a “right” we deserve when we want it. But that is what dating Christian women feels like. They believe men are obligated by God to make all their desires, dreams, wishes, and expectations come true, and the sooner the better.

Your lists of desires and qualifications, and your urgent timetable do not change a man’s gift into your “right!”

We don’t owe you anything! (From Peacefulwife – please remember, this is a single man – not even in a dating relationship.  Two Christian women he was friends with, not even dating, at different times demanded to know his “5 year plan” and then never talked with him again after he tried to answer their surprise “pop quiz” as he described it.)

Our hearts, our thoughts, our time, our energy, our money, our commitments, and our lifetime of hard work and sacrifices are all our gifts to the women we choose to give them to, when we choose to give those things to them. When women DEMAND any of these, we don’t want to give them away.

Many  (single) Christian women place so much emphasis on marriage, children, and materialistic things they want NOW, that many men feel a lot of pressure to hear God correctly and honor their girlfriends, all while trying to slow down the process enough so we can feel comfortable about whether or not to move forward, having a plan, working hard, and investing ourselves into both the costs and benefits of the relationship. It is not as easy as simply saying, “Yes,” and women would not be satisfied with words alone. I believe men deserve the time they need to make such promises and commitments willingly.

If you want the gift, you have to wait until it is handed to you. You can’t just pry it out of his hands and act like you already deserve it, and that he owes it to you. It is not your gift to give!

The more women want to speed-up their relationships, the more men will resist.

I wonder, “What do women expect will happen when they do become married? Do women think they are right to drag their husbands around by the hand for the rest of their lives. I hope not!”

If you want a relationship with a man, you should learn to love and adapt to his timetable. If he loves you, he will learn gradually over time how to balance both, but if he feels rushed he will resist, and you will only be adding more time to your wait. If you feel a need to rush things, you will likely show him that his sense of time, perspective, and priorities are “wrong,” and that you are unwilling to value or respect and consider his thoughts and opinions, and may not ever be willing to follow his lead.

Speaking from experience, I’m so used to Christian women jumping insistently from the beginning to rush and force the issue, that I would feel much more honored by waiting. It shows me more respect for my thoughts and opinions, and allows me the flexibility and opportunity to practice leading, while giving her the same flexibility and opportunity to practice following. To me, it demonstrates the difference between actually following or merely talking about it.

I don’t want to be led around by the hand and told what a good little leader I am every time I do what she wants.

I guess the real question is, “Which is most important to you, the man you say you love or your need to live by your own rules and schedules?” Only one of those will have priority.

Again, I believe God will speak clearly how best each couple should proceed to avoid unnecessary troubles.

Also, when 66%-75% of all break-ups and divorces are initiated by women for selfish and “no fault” reasons, that statistic alone encourages me to wait longer to marry a woman that would be right for me. If women were truly concerned about not “wasting time”, they wouldn’t date people for fun or break-up because they’re bored. Their “Yes” would mean yes, and their “No” would mean no. If most women can’t keep their promises, I see no reason to rush into any committed relationship or marriage.

Men aren’t afraid of commitment! We’re afraid of what will happen to us after that commitment!

12 thoughts on “Something that Christian Men Wish We Knew about Them

  1. I am happily married and have been for…many short years. I like and respect much of what this bright young man says, particularly of God’s place in a relationship and our lives and decisions. However, as the mother of three young daughters who are thankfully too young to be considering marriage, if in the future one of them is interested in a young man who makes comments such as:
    “We (I) don’t owe you anything!
    If you want the gift, you have to wait until it is handed to you.
    It is not your gift to give!
    If most women can’t keep their promises…”
    I would be a bit concerned. Courtship/dating should certainly be done with caution. However, I believe the purpose of courtship and dating is to find the spouse God intends, not simply for fun or entertainment, so the idea that marriage may be in the future should be part of the equation and discussions.
    When considering a courting relationship, knowing what a man has planned for the near future is not an unrealistic or threatening question. The answer, or lack of answer, could tell you a lot about the person. A relationship is also a two way street. I hope that my daughters will not be as aggressive as some women are. I also pray that any men they court will recognize my daughter’s gifts, love for God, uniqueness, and loyalty, and that the focus of the relationship will be seeking God’s will for their lives, and that they will look out for each others best interests, not just their own.
    Ephesians 5:25-33 begins with that verse which we have heard so often
    “Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord”

    What the husband is commanded to do is not to lead (obviously it is inferred), but to:

    “Love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…..nourish and cherish as Christ does the Church”

    The leadership, while necessary, is not the command. To love, nourish and cherish as Christ loves the church (us) is the command for the man.

    For women to practice submission in courtship and marriage is made a lot easier for her when the man is practicing Christ’s love, looking out for her best interests as well. I can say from experience, that it makes for a beautiful marriage for both husband and wife.

    I apologize for the overly long post. I really do agree with many of his comments, but having counseled women, and having three daughters, I felt I might add something to the conversation.

    1. Kim,
      It’s great to hear from you! Thank you for your perspective!

      I have a link at the top of this post to the original post where this Christian brother was describing what happened in these two situations.

      One girl- a good friend – suddenly asked him to talk after church. He was interested in her, but they were still just friends at this point. He felt ambushed by her out-of-the-blue question – you can read more about it if you are interested.

      This man didn’t make these comments to the women – this is how he was feeling afterwards when he felt they were trying to force him to say he would get married in a certain time frame.

      However,

      I completely agree that if a courting relationship is being considered – there would probably be a time of formally sitting down and discussing possible plans. I think that is great! And I completely agree with you that at that point – if a man is interested in a woman, he would probably want to initiate a conversation and it would need to include some plans. Of course, ultimately, plans can fall through – but if a courtship is being considered, both the man and woman would need to be on board with the idea of wanting to be married. Absolutely!

      I completely agree that a woman’s gifts, love for God, uniqueness and all of her personality and soul are gifts that are to be cherished by any man who would desire to consider courtship or marriage.

      I Corinthians 11:3 does say that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. Which I believe would be a command for the husband to lead. As well as Titus 2:4 where wives are to be subject to their husbands so that no one maligns the Word of God. And, of course, men are commanded to love their wives as Christ loves the church. YES! Those are qualities that I believe women must look for in a believing husband. No arguments from me here! 🙂

      Today – many women are taking over leadership in dating and engagement relationships. They are calling men first. They are asking men out. Many of them are aggressive and demanding about their boyfriends must propose to them by a certain time – “or else”. I don’t believe that when women are that aggressive and taking over leading in the relationship that the outcome will generally be honoring to God.

      But I absolutely agree that for women to practice submission in courtship, dating or marriage – it is always infinitely easier when the man is obeying God as well. And when the woman is obeying God, it makes it infinitely easier for the husband to love her and be selfless in his leadership and generosity.

      I would love to see men and women obeying God’s Word and seeking Him first- what amazing marriages we would have!

      Thank you so much for your comments!

    2. OH!
      And let me also add- this particular man DOES want to be married. He wants very much to have a godly marriage. I would say that he would also agree with you about your concepts of courtship/dating from what he has written in the past.

      I appreciate the discussion very much!
      Thank you!

  2. A perceptive and articulate young man. I wonder how much negative feedback you’re going to get on this from single Christian women?

    1. Honestly, David, I’m a woman and he has a valid point. Women speed up the process over the yearning for “control” because ‘not knowing’ sends them into a freak out. How do I know? Because I was called out on it in just the early stages of going on dates 1 or 2. I’ve now learned and come to terms with it. Going on his timetable allows hIm to be the man, be manly, and lead. However, you gotta ask, “Where’s the silver lining?” There is a time that your courtship has gone up to lets say 2 years, and he hasn’t popped the question. You really do have to start questioning if you want to be in the relationship with this person. The person is dating with the end result of marriage in mind.

      Therefore I do agree that if you rush the process with a guy while you’re in the courtship phase, a woman will scare the guy off.

      1. Kris,
        Thanks for your comments! Your story was extremely helpful. I KNOW how hard it is for us to feel like we are in limbo and don’t know what is going to happen. We want security and to feel like we “know” the future. We don’t realize that our attempts to control things are all illusions and that we actually often sabotage the very things we want the most the more we try to make them happen with our men.

        I do agree that a courtship that has gone on for 2 years with no engagement yet would REALLY test the limits of most women. I guess that we would need to seek godly counsel in that situation and pray and seek God’s face and be as sensitive to His SPirit as possible. But that would be extremely painful for most women – especially if they are past college age and able to be financially independent from their parents.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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